Mamata asks Centre to stop Lalgarh operations | india | Hindustan Times
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Mamata asks Centre to stop Lalgarh operations

india Updated: Jun 29, 2009 22:25 IST

The Centre should call off the operations in West Midnapore district and instead engage the central forces in unearthing illegal arms allegedly stockpiled by the CPI-M in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.

"I am once again urging the central government not to provide support to the CPI-M at Lalgarh and use central forces to unearth illegal arms stocked by the party," the Railway minister told reporters in Kolkata.

"I urge the Centre to immediately convene an emergency meeting to be attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram to review what actually is happening at Lalgarh in the name of flushing out Maoists," Banerjee said.

Demanding that the Centre invoke the Disturbed Areas Act in West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts, Banerjee alleged "the so-called operation against Maoists is a drama".

She claimed the Lalgarh operation was part of CPI-M's bid to recapture the area the region and in the process 40,000 people had been rendered homeless.

Banerjee said she had talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the Lalgarh situation as also Mukherjee.

"I talked to Pranab Mukherjee four times yesterday and today about the Lalgarh situation. I submitted a report to him about the state-sponsored torture on villagers at Lalgarh, Salboni and Keshpur," she said.

"I maintain that safety and security of tribals is the responsibility of the Centre and that the atrocities on them be stopped forthwith," Banerjee said.

She alleged that the security forces were committing atrocities on the people during their operations.

"CPI-M cadres on motorbikes carrying party flags, had moved into Lalgarh to recapture the area. This is exactly what they did in Nandigram in November, 2007," she claimed and added a blueprint of the recapture of the areas has been drawn up by the CPI-M at the behest of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Commenting on Bhattacharjee's assertion at a cabinet core committee meeting during the day that a number of Maoists had fled to Jharkhand, she said "They are being given safe passage through Sarenga in Bankura district to Purulia district bordering Jharkhand. I demand an inquiry into it."

She also condemned the filing of an FIR against film maker Aparna Sen and other celebrities for visiting Lalgarh on June 21.